Majority News Releases


Statement of Chairman Leahy On the GAO Decision on the Pause of Border Barrier Construction Obligations

Today's announcement by the GAO is a welcome one. As the ruling made clear, a review of the environmental havoc wrought by former President Trump's vanity wall, and taking the time to actually consult with the various stake holders, including landowners whose land was being seized, is legal and permitted by law. President Trump's approach to the wall at the Southern Border was at best a bumper sticker approach to a serious policy issue, and it should be reviewed to ensure that American taxpaye… Continue Reading


Opening Remarks of Chairman Leahy on the Appropriations Hearing on the FY 2022 State Department Budget Request

Welcome Secretary Blinken. I will begin by making my opening statement. I understand Vice Chairman Shelby will defer to Senator Graham, Ranking Member on the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee for his opening statement. Then I will turn to Senator Coons, our new Chairman of the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee, for his opening statement. Mr. Secretary, this Committee funds every aspect of the State Department's operations and programs. You cannot turn the lights on, or power your … Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Leahy On The Introduction Of The Biden Budget

Today, President Biden introduced a bold vision for an American future, and I share his priorities to build back better. In the decade following the Budget Control Act, we lost ground in education, child care, environmental protections, infrastructure, and affordable housing. The Budget Control Act did not constrain our national debt; it left us a nation in disrepair. The investments outlined in the Biden budget reflect this reality. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already held sev… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Leahy on the Introduction of the Biden Budget and the End of the Budget Control Act

The Budget Control Act of 2011 expires this year, and that is a good thing. This law led to a decade of underfunding our domestic priorities, from which it will take years to recover. Right now, in communities across the country, our infrastructure is crumbling, millions of Americans cannot access federal programs for which they qualify, and we are falling behind in investing in science, research, and development on the global economic stage. All of this because the Budget Control Act set ar… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On the Shelby, Inhofe Amendment

Providing a dollar to the Defense department for every dollar of non-defense spending is simply arbitrary, and would lead to absurd results. Under this amendment, if we pass an infrastructure bill through reconciliation providing a $2 trillion dollars to fix our roads and bridges and build out broadband, we would then have to provide $2 trillion dollars for defense, nearly tripling that budget. I welcome a debate about the appropriate levels for defense and non-defense spending in Fiscal Year… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The House Introduced Emergency Security Supplemental

There can be no question that the needs in the wake of the tragic events of January 6th are great. The insurrectionists left in their wake broken doors and broken windows, our Capitol Police force is overburdened and under resourced, and members and staff have suffered significant emotional trauma. It also exposed vulnerabilities in our security that must be addressed. On top of that the pandemic has caused the House and the Senate and their supporting agencies to incur unexpected costs to ke… Continue Reading


Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy Holds Hearing On Domestic Violent Extremism In America

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, May 12, 2021) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Wednesday held a hearing of the full Committee to examine the increasing prevalence of domestic violent extremism in the United States. Viewed by many experts as the most persistent and lethal threat facing our country, attacks and plots by domestic violent extremists are on the rise. In 2020 alone, white nationalists and like-minded extremists conducted 66 percent of terrori… Continue Reading


Opening Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy on Domestic Violent Extremism in America

The January 6th images of insurrectionists flying confederate flags as they stormed the U.S. Capitol are stark reminders that domestic violent extremism in America is hardly a new threat. Our nation's history has been marred by the violent, deadly acts of extremists pushing a range of hateful white supremacist ideologies. From the Ku Klux Klan to Timothy McVeigh, we have witnessed - and suffered through - extremists killing innocent people in the name of their morally bankrupt causes. The violen… Continue Reading


Chairman Leahy Statement On President Biden’s Announcement On Funds Stolen By The Trump Administration

For years, President Trump raided taxpayer dollars from our military and military families to build a wall he promised the American people Mexico would pay for. He let schools for military children deteriorate, and he stripped our National Guard of the resources and equipment they needed to effectively carry out their mission. This smash-and-grab funding of bumper sticker policies left a backlog of unfunded projects vital to our national security that will take years to restore. The construct… Continue Reading


Statement of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy On Congressionally Directed Spending.

I rise today to address the need for Congress to restore one of its constitutional powers, the power of the purse. My family arrived in Vermont in the 19th Century to work in the granite quarries in Barre. Later, my parents ran a printing business right across from the Vermont State House in Montpelier where I grew up. I stayed in Vermont for college, only traveling 45 minutes up the road to Saint Michael's College where I received an excellent education. After earning my law degree at … Continue Reading


Leahy Announces Restoration of the Power of the Purse: Reforms for a Return to Congressionally Directed Spending in Fiscal Year 2022

WASHINGTON (MONDAY, April 26, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday his intent to restore one of Congress' constitutional powers, the power to approve congressionally-directed spending items, and to do so with enhanced transparency and accountability. The Senate Appropriations Committee will, on a bipartisan basis, accept requests for congressionally directed spending items for appropriations bills for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2021… Continue Reading


Closing Remarks of Chairman Leahy on “The American Jobs Plan: Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing in Our Nation’s Future” Hearing

Thank you to everyone - from the witnesses here today to our Committee members to the staff that helped prepare - for this meaningful hearing. I will close with this. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our roads a grade of D. Our bridges are graded at a C. Storm water and waste water systems are graded at D and D plus, respectively. Drinking water systems do slightly better - a C minus. Same with our energy grids. Our student populations have outgrown our schools. There is near … Continue Reading


Leahy Holds First Appropriations Committee Hearing On Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing In America’s Future

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, April 20, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday convened the first full committee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The hearing focused on The American Jobs Plan, the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and how to prepare for and mitigate the climate crisis. The hearing was the first of several thematic hearings Leahy will hold with the full committee. Leahy said: "The American Jobs Plan is a sweeping proposal that wil… Continue Reading


Opening Statement of Chairman Leahy for Hearing on “The American Jobs Plan: Infrastructure Climate Change, and Investing in Our Nation’s Future”

Today, we convene the first hearing of the full Senate Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress. And what more appropriate topic than that of infrastructure. There is no other Committee within the Senate whose jurisdiction touches every aspect of our government and of Americans' lives. The same, of course, can be said for infrastructure. Gone are the days when "infrastructure" has meant only bridges, highways, roads, and rail. To narrow our view of infrastructure to just this is not … Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Biden’s Budget Blueprint

A budget is where an administration can set its priorities, and it is clear from President Biden's initial proposal that his administration's priorities reflect the real needs of the American people. This blueprint makes strong investments in Americans and communities who have not benefited from the economic expansion prior to the pandemic and who fell further behind because of COVID. The budget proposes long overdue and historic investments in jobs, worker training, schools, food security, in… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Leahy On Reevaluating Trump’s Border Wall

The previous Administration's taxpayer funded vanity wall along the Southern Border was never a real solution to addressing the challenge of immigration in our country. It was a slogan made for a bumper sticker - not an effective national policy. A wall, no matter how high or secure, will not deter families and children who are turning themselves in at the border in an effort to flee violence, chaos, and poverty in their home countries. Congress was clear that the funding appropriated for CB… Continue Reading


Statement of Chairman Leahy On Senate Passage Of The American Rescue Plan

Across our country, in every state, in every community, Americans are suffering. It doesn't matter if they are represented in Congress by Republicans or by Democrats, or whether they live in rural communities or in urban centers. All have suffered under an unprecedented health and economic crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 520,000, and of more than 2.58 million people around the world. Families are living under the tremendous burden of not knowing how they will pay their rent, fe… Continue Reading


Statement of Approps Chairman Leahy On Announcing Subcommittee Rosters and Leadership for the 117th Congress

The Appropriations Committee is where we put the necessary resources behind our policy priorities. It is where we can address the needs of the American people. This is a process that requires difficult decisions and bipartisan cooperation, and I believe we have a skilled and experienced team to confront this challenge head on. I want to thank my good friend Senator Shelby for his partnership in the 116th Congress, and I welcome his leadership as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations … Continue Reading


Leahy, Shelby Announce Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee Rosters And Leadership For The 117th Congress

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021) - Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Friday announced the majority and minority Chairmen, Ranking Members, and subcommittee rosters for the 117th Congress. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee Chairmen, Ranking Members, and rosters, with members listed in order of subcommittee seniority, are as follows: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Ta… Continue Reading


Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Urgent Need For A Bold Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic

For more than a year, our country has been in the grip of an unprecedented health and economic catastrophe. It was January of last year when the first confirmed case of COVID-19 arrived in our country. Since then, more than 444,000 of our fellow citizens have died, more than 26 million have been infected, and millions have lost their jobs. And every day there are thousands more deaths. A year ago, former President Trump boasted that there were only 15 COVID-19 cases in this country and he w… Continue Reading

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